January 1, 2005

Largest anime conventions of 2004

by Patrick Delahanty

Each year, more and more people are discovering the fun and excitement of anime conventions. As more people discover anime cons, more conventions start up and existing conventions grow.

Many conventions have chosen to publish their attendance numbers. has assembled those numbers and put together this list of the ten largest anime conventions in North America:

  1. Anime Expo - 25,000
  2. Otakon - 22,149
  3. A-Kon - 9,450
  4. Anime North - 8,500
  5. Anime Central - 7,406
  6. FanimeCon - 6,122
  7. Anime Weekend Atlanta - 5,837
  8. SakuraCon - 4,775
  9. Katsucon - 4,300
  10. Anime Boston - 3,656

Also worthy of note is Anime Friends in Brazil which reported an attendance of 25,000. would like to stress that the above list is not a list of the "best" conventions, but only the largest. There are many, many other great anime conventions out there worth checking out. In fact, we've heard some of the best comments about some of the smaller conventions out there. Quite often this is in part due to the more intimate atmosphere that makes it easier to make new friends and bump elbows with guests.

The above numbers which have been reported to represent the closest possible estimates to the total number of people actually attending a given event (and not including badges not picked up). Whenever possible, this includes staff, guests, and other special badges in addition to the regular convention attendees. However, adding in these special badges does not affect the list order in any way.

The above list only includes conventions with a majority of their programming dedicated to anime and manga. Therefore, it does not include large events such as CN Anime and Comic-Con.

It's difficult to guess what may happen in 2005. Otakon won't be able to outgrow Anime Expo this year due to Otakon's attendance cap, but it will be interesting to see how Anime Boston will grow without a cap. Many New Yorkers are also hoping for the return of Big Apple Anime Fest, but without any word from them since last April, that seems quite unlikely.

In terms of new conventions, 2005 will see a number of new conventions appear. In fact, one convention has even announced their first date in August 2006!